Angry Birds Transformers Review (iOS)
Angry Birds Transformers features our favorite characters as Autobirds and Deceptihogs, and though the pun is downright cheesy, its heart is in the right place. It's free to play, and thankfully it hits almost all the right notes.
For Angry Birds fans eager to ditch the slingshot mechanic that drove previous titles, Angry Birds Transformers is an endless runner which doesn't require any kind of analysis. Instead of angling your bird at a specific target to do the maximum amount of damage, your characters are sprinting on Piggy Island to kill as many Eggbots as possible and free imprisoned Autobirds (Soundwave and Bumblee are your first unlocked characters).
You start the game off as Optimus Prime (played by Red), the goal is to blast as many objects or eggbots possible and reach the craft without dying. Each of the Autobirds will eventually run out of energy after several missions, and instead of having health bar power ups during the stage, the robots' health will be refilled by spending blue gems you've collected along the way.
Within each level you will accrue gold that will be used to upgrade the Autobirds' skill set, and the number of eggbots eliminated will also be tallied. Once you reach a certain number of eggbot casualties, you can trade those kills in and unlock another Autobird. Gold coins can also be used to unlock different parts of Piggy Island which, in turn, gives you more playable levels.
To aim at your target tap the screen and then tap again to fire at will. Those are the only type of controls you'll need to learn with Angry Birds Transformers, and unfortunately simplistic action behind this endless runner/shooter hybrid leads to repetitive gameplay. I can handle the game in 10-15 minute spurts, but the lack of variety does get a bit wearying.
The ability to play with friends by connecting with Facebook is a great option to stave off the inevitable monotony, and if you don't want to use social media during your gameplay, you can select a randomized teammate to help you on the level. It's a nice touch, but eventually incessantly tapping on the screen reaches its vanishing point.
What's not frustrating is the game's generous free to play structure. You can easily unlock Autobirds within your first hour of play sans any kind of premium purchases. After completing a stage, you'll have the chance to watch an advertisement that, if you choose to view, will double the eggbot and gold total that was accrued in the level.
The blue gems are also initially easy to collect, as you'll earn them by attaining various achievements in your missions. Though upgrading your characters as well as unlocking select missions does take time (for example, a certain stage may take 35 minutes to open), blue gems are used to complete these tasks immediately. The more hours I've put in to Angry Birds Transformers, I've also noticed it takes even more blue gems to unlock a stage. Since it's free to play and I've had tons of gameplay leading up to this point, I've been more than happy with the trade off.
Angry Birds Transformers also gets a few added points for having Vince DiCola, the composer behind The Transformers animated series, score the the game's soundtrack with his longtime collaborator Kenny Meriedeth. The music carries the same over the top and epic score from the 1980s show, and it's a downright excellent addition to the title.
The graphics, as with previous Angry Birds efforts, are crisp and beautiful. Watching the birds transform into Autobots is a sight to behold, and the game is a worthy homage to the Transformers franchise without sacrificing Angry Birds' visual aesthetic.
Although Angry Birds Transformers doesn't reach stratospheric heights due to its repetitive gameplay, there are other elements that should keep you intrigued for the long run. Sometimes point, shoot, and run is what's on the menu, and when the game is absolutely free to play, having a bite-sized meal with Optimus Prime isn't a bad thing.
This review was based on a downloaded copy of Angry Birds Transformers for IOS.